Movie Review – State of Emergency (2013)

State of Emergency
Directed by Turner Clay
Courtesy of Image Entertainment
Release Date: April 16, 2013


I have to confess: when I first saw the DVD cover for this film, I thought it was going to be a comedy. I’m not sure why, but the expression of the character on the cover gave me the impression that he was in a funny situation. Thus, my expectations weren’t very high when I started watching it. But wow…I’m glad I did give it a chance; STATE OF EMERGENCY is a top-notch zombie flick that delivers on many levels.

If you are not familiar with STATE OF EMERGENCY, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the DVD cover:

After an explosion unleashes the contents of a military bio-weapons plant, the unsuspecting populace is transformed into a roaming army of flesh-eating zombies. Trapped in the quarantine zone, Jim finds himself cut off, confused and fighting for his own survival. Contacted by a small band of others unaffected by the toxins, Jim sets out to reach their besieged warehouse. Becoming the group’s de-facto leader, he struggles to keep order as they hunker down, fortify their stronghold and arm themselves against the attacking mutants. Fragmentary radio reports from outside hint at a last-ditch government rescue plan. But can the survivors hold out until help arrives…or will they succumb to the living hell of the undead apocalypse?

I had never heard of STATE OF EMERGENCY before I got the press release, but I would wager that horror fans will definitely be hearing about this one soon. While it does not really bring anything new to the table, it is a taut, thrilling survival story that will have you squirming in your seat and hiding your eyes.

One major aspect of this film that jumped out at me is the way it looks. I saw in the closing credits that it was shot on a Red One camera, and you can certainly tell; the picture is crystal clear and the quality of the imagery is beautiful. This clarity lets the audience see every blood-splattered detail of zombie head-shots as they occur.

Aside from the look, STATE OF EMERGENCY is shot well and the acting is great. The production value seems high, which would fit since estimates the budget at $1.3 million. Even so, that’s still not much for a movie, and it appears the production team made excellent use of the money they had.

My sole complaint about this film is a very minor one; I don’t like the fact that the zombie head-shots were computer generated. Don’t get me wrong…they are very well done, but they are still “off” enough to stand out. The rest of the effects are practical, though, and look fantastic.

STATE OF EMERGENCY is a great zombie film, and it will definitely generate buzz in regard to slow-moving-zombies-versus-fast-ones (the creatures in this film run). I highly recommend giving it a shot. It not only looks good, but it’s haunting and entertaining as well. The film hits store shelves next week, so make a note.


13 thoughts on “Movie Review – State of Emergency (2013)

    • I thought for the budget they had, the film was better than average.
      I wish there were more zombies in it…

  1. Clearly our opinions are very far apart. Did the production team of this movie pay you to write the review? I ask not because I personally thought the movie was terrible, but because you said “the acting is great”.

    I would have to say their acting like acting was great. I actually shivered a number of times at the horrible delivery of lines.

    I agree the sharpness and clarity of the movie was great, but that was about it. Maybe they should have passed on such things and put more money into the dialog/actors/zombies or anything else.

    Believe me, I love B movies, and I don’t know if C movies exist, but this should probably be dropped there.

  2. Hi, Gobs.

    First off, thanks so much for visiting Shattered Ravings and posting your opinion. I encourage discussion and welcome input on my reviews.

    Secondly, thank you for being polite and cordial in your comments. I have no problems at all discussing differences of opinion, but I think when people respect each other it makes the discussion more productive.

    As for the acting, I felt like it was very good in contrast to what I was expecting; based on the cover, I wasn’t expecting much at all. And, given the fact that this is technically a low(er) budget flick, the production team probably did spend most of their money on renting or buying the RED camera and lenses.

  3. i saw the movie today and i thought it was great. a lot of people’s minds have been blown by all the hollywood stunts and expensive computer animation. i like it when a movie is well made on a low budget. as far as the story goes it’s the most realistic zombie movie i’ve ever seen and i’ve seen them all. nobody died from doing somethinng crazy stupid. there weren’t a lot of zombies but they individualized them and made every screen count. the way the characters acted when they saw zombies was legit compared to other movies. if i had to pick one zombie movie that was the closest to being “real”…this movie would win. they focused on the important stuff with their budget instead of wasting it.

  4. Hi, Joseph. Thank you for your input. I agree with you on many of your points. It’s nice to see what a production team can do with a small budget and a lot of heart. Can’t wait to see what these guys do next!

  5. Also give it a 2 the due to the main character being such a pu**y throughout the entire movie. Guy is in survival mode but is careless and fumbles around with everything, he forgets to secure his area especially after he was spooked by something outside on the roof, he cant use a gun for his life, and for some reason he wont turn on the lights while investigating a banging noise. What does he have to loose by turning on the lights when the main character doesnt know yet what hes up against, only armed with a battery powered hand lantern and a rifle he cant use. what the point of slinging a rifle if you cant see what you are shooting at. Later on he uses an hatchet for a sidearm but somehow forgets to use it, instead grabs a board and sh*ts his pants when he breaks it. If you are 10 years old and like zombies this is the movie for you.

  6. In a situation like that i’m sure there are a lot of people who wouldn’t be able to shoot straight. Haven’t you ever heard stories of people shooting their first buck…a lot of them miss. it’s a mixture of being nervous and adredaline. If you were a soldier fighting in a war and you killed your first enemy i’m sure you would shake and maybe miss also. This guy was a city slicker…prolly never even killed a rabbit before in his life…i could easily see how he would fumble things and miss shots…the directors knew what they were doing when they made this. Forgetting to close the gate was a stupid thing to do but in zombie movies the zombies always have to find a way into the fort…that is the only way they could in this movie. I still stand by this being one of the most realistic zombie movies ever made. Also “the crazies” because they aren’t walking dead…they just go crazy…very realistic story

  7. As always, I’m a day late & a dollar short! I just watched STATE OF EMERGENCY and I AGREE 100% WITH MATTHEW SCOTT BAKER! I’m a Die Hard WALKING DEAD Fan who has been ANXIOUSLY AWAITING Release of Season 3 on NETFLIX on 9-29-13! After watching, NETFLIX has “Suggestions” to watch and Guess What was #1…STATE OF EMERGENCY! This is one of the Most Realistic and Believable Zombie Movies I’ve seen, for the Budget! I have a Bizzare Infatuation with Horror/Zombie Genre Movies and Myself own over 5,000 DVD/BLUE RAY and 2,000 VHS + My PS3 stays on NETFLIX,HULU or AMAZON Streaming movies, series ETC. This movie won a 2nd watch for me! So, for this GrandMom, Matthew’s Opinion gets “TWO THUMBS UP” From me! But everyone know that OPINIONS ARE LIKE A##HOLES, EVERYBODY HAS ONE BUT NO ONE’S IS EXACTLY THE SAME!”

  8. I have to say that this was one of the worst zombie movies I have ever seen! I was actually laughing at the horrid acting, especially coming from the “zombies”. Dawn of the Dead, however, is much better and made before this one. For that matter Shaun of the Dead was better than this one. At least it was trying to be funny, and even with it’s slow paced zombies they were scarier. But with this movie having one zombie come at you at a time… seriously, get real folks. I have seen scarier things come out of my fridge. I wouldn’t recommended this movie to anyone. It is a waste of time, I’m so glad I didn’t buy this movie. And if IMDB thought it was budgeted at $1.3 million… WOW! I think I could have done better with $100K.

    • Sorry to hear you didn’t like it, KGE0918…that’s the beauty of zombie flicks though: there are thousands more to choose from if ya find one ya don’t like!

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